Losing a job unfairly is devastating. You abruptly lose your income. Perhaps even health insurance and retirement funds. On top of big financial stress, there is also anger at being wrongfully terminated from a position you worked hard at.
It may feel powerless at first. However, specialized wrongful termination lawyers employ effective strategies to assist employees in seeking justice and obtaining compensation when terminated without cause.
In this article, we will explore the legal options, tactics, and real-life examples of how these lawyers achieve results. Let’s explore the journey from injustice to justice.
Common Cases Handled By Wrongful Termination Lawyers
Employees who believe they’ve faced unfair dismissal often consult with a wrongful termination lawyer in Los Angeles. If you are in Los Angeles, consult a wrongful termination lawyer in the area to explore your legal options. Wrongful termination can take various forms, and employees should be aware of their rights. Below are the common unfair situations that may lead terminated employees to contact a dedicated wrongful termination attorney:
- Dismissal after reporting illegal activities by your employer (Whistle-blower laws)
- Firing as an act of unlawful discrimination due to factors like race, gender, or disabilities
- Being let go after taking maternity leave or other protected medical leave time
- Retaliation by the employer for refusing to do something unethical
- No severance or proper procedure in group layoffs (WARN Act)
- Ending employment with no documented performance issues
Legal Avenues Available For Unfair Termination
There are three main legal avenues that wrongful termination lawyers use to seek just compensation on behalf of clients:
Wrongful Termination Suit
This argues the firing violates employment laws, discrimination policies, or written employment contracts stating reasons needed for termination. Lawyers gather facts to prove the termination was without just cause.
Retaliatory Discharge Lawsuit
These suits state employees were unjustly fired for actions like filing a workplace complaint, reporting illegal behaviors, or being whistleblowers. Proving retaliation is key.
Some wrongful firings break anti-discrimination employment laws related to demographics like age, gender, race, religion, or disabilities. Lawyers demonstrate discharge relates to unjust discrimination.
By building strong cases down one of these paths, wrongful termination lawyers turn the tables to victory.
Step-By-Step Process In Wrongful Termination Cases
While each case is unique, experienced lawyers generally follow this planned sequence of events:
Initial Client Consultation
The lawyer listens fully to the story of what events led to the termination. They identify potential legal merits based on wrongful firing criteria and begin crafting a case theory.
Lawyers gather documents and communications related to disciplinary claims and performance reviews. They also collect proof of retaliation or discrimination. Interviews with identified witnesses help establish facts.
Settlement Demand Letter to Company
A letter presents the collected evidence of wrongdoing and demands compensation or reinstatement to avoid court action. Strong documentation lends credibility to coerce a settlement.
Negotiating a Settlement
If the employer wants to avoid court, the lawyer negotiates a fair settlement for lost wages, damage compensation and future employment terms. Most cases settle out of court.
If talks fail, the next step is filing either a wrongful termination lawsuit or discrimination/retaliatory discharge lawsuits after obtaining the right-to-sue letter from the EEOC.
A complaint is submitted, depositions taken, subpoenas issued, and motions argued before the court. The lawyer relentlessly builds the strongest case possible towards trial or an advantageous settlement.
With strategic execution, many wrongful termination cases end in favorable settlements for the terminated employee. But seasoned lawyers prepare for trial if needed to fight until justice wins.
Real-Life Wrongful Termination Case Examples
Here are some examples of successful wrongful termination and retaliation lawsuits:
After 25 years, a hotel sales manager was suddenly let go at age 62. Younger workers took over her clients. Her lawyers proved age discrimination violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. She received a large settlement.
Family and Medical Leave Act Violation
A product manager was denied medical leave for cancer treatment by his employer and then terminated. His legal team demonstrated violation of FMLA protections for medical leave. The company had to pay steep damages.
A bank teller was fired right after reporting her manager’s fraudulent activities to HR. Her lawyers successfully argued retaliation under Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection laws. She won major compensation for lost earnings.
Equal Pay Act Violation
A female sales rep paid less than males in her role filed an EEOC complaint for pay discrimination, After being terminated, she sued for retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act, winning compensation for back pay and emotional damages.
Key Steps For Wrongfully Terminated Employees
If you face unfair termination, take these steps:
- Immediately consult a wrongful termination attorney to commence gathering evidence while events are still fresh. Early legal guidance is invaluable.
- Save all documentation like copies of performance reviews, disciplinary notices, severance offers, and relevant emails. Don’t delete anything.
- Take notes on conversations and events leading to your termination. Dates, times and key details matter.
- Contact witnesses like coworkers who observed circumstances surrounding your dismissal to get statements.
- Let your lawyer communicate with your prior employer. Don’t jeopardize your case through direct contact.
- Mitigate losses by actively searching for replacement work, even if at a lower salary. Lawsuits factor lost earnings into damages.
Through diligence and persistence, justice can prevail even in cases of unjust termination. Skilled lawyers get results.
- Wrongful termination lawyers help workers who got fired illegally or unethically. This could be due to discrimination, getting revenge, or contract violations.
- Taking legal action like lawsuits can lead to big money rewards for the worker if the firing was wrong.
- Lawyers gather proof to show the wrong reasons, send demand letters, negotiate settlements, and take cases to court if needed.
- If you got fired unjustly, talk to a lawyer right away. Save all records, get coworker statements, and avoid talking to the company without your lawyer.
- Achieving justice requires time and unwavering dedication. But wrongful termination lawyers use proven strategies to turn unfair firings around. They help workers stand up for their rights.
What are signs my firing may be wrongful termination?
Clues include lack of documentation of poor performance, discipline right after legal complaints, demotions before dismissal, pattern of targeting your demographic. Consult a lawyer.
What damages or remedies can I seek in a wrongful termination case?
You can claim lost income, emotional distress, and harm to your professional reputation. Potential remedies are job reinstatement, monetary damages, employer letter of apology.
What should I avoid doing if I’m pursuing a wrongful termination case?
Don’t vent anger at the company or post negativity on social media. Don’t delay contacting a lawyer. Steer clear of the employer without guidance from your attorney.
How long do wrongful termination cases typically take?
Most settle within several months before reaching trial. Some may go to litigation lasting 1-2 years. An experienced lawyer efficiently drives towards the best outcome.
Unjust job loss is painful. But legal action can provide lost income and justice. With dedication and a strategic lawyer, victory after wrongful termination is possible. Do not accept less.